Science Fiction Conventions and "con food."

One of the things I like about LibertyCon is that I can eat there.  You see, I was recently diagnosed with type II diabetes.  And while my blood sugar numbers aren’t really bad even without watching diet and medication (my doctor says a lot of doctors wouldn’t even treat at my level, but he likes to be aggressive on treatment for a better chance of reversing things) I have to really watch carbs to keep the numbers fully within the “normal” range.  And by “really watch” I mean something like eighty to one hundred grams a day usually.

One of the issues that comes from that is that eating out tends to be expensive for me.  A lot of “cheap” foods are very high in carbs and even things that look like they should be “OK” turn out to be surprisingly high in carbs. (Beef is low carb, of course, and broccoli is excellent as a non-starchy vegetable, but the sauce in that beef with broccoli at the local Chinese buffet?  It took three days for my blood sugar to come back down!)  I can eat “fast food” but that usually means ordering two sandwiches, tossing the buns, and eating the centers (two to compensate for not eating the buns and no fries, of course).

This is an issue with my attendance at Science Fiction conventions since, first off, the con is already an expense.  Even if I get a comped membership as a program participant, there’s the hotel, travel to the con, hotel, and memberships for my wife and daughter if they are accompanying me (which I try to arrange whenever possible).  Being able to save money on food by eating, or even snacking from what the con provides is helpful.

The first Con I went to after being diagnosed was Inconjunction here in Indy.  There was literally nothing I could eat in the con suite.  Now, their contract with the hotel was that they couldn’t serve “real food” in the con suite, snacks only, but surely a cold cut platter, or even some non starchy vegetables could have been provided under that contract.  Fortunately, Incon was local so I could do most of my eating at home.

Then came LibertyCon with both a much better con suite and BFC (and considerable overlap between the two this time around).  It was nice to be able to feed myself without giving my blood sugar meter fits.  It will be interesting to see how things are in the rest of my “con schedule.”

Now, obviously it’s not the various science fiction conventions responsibility to see to my specific dietary needs but I’m hardly the only person who has problems with high carbohydrates.  I admit, to my shame, that it’s not really something I thought about before being diagnosed myself.  About one person in twelve in the US is diabetic and more than three times that are “prediabetic”

Would a vegetable platter or some cold cuts, maybe some cheese, in the con suite alongside the chips and cheese balls be too much to ask?  Even if they don’t serve “real food” and perhaps especially if they do?

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